June 6, 2008

Lone Star Software Symposium - Day 1 Recap

Without going into detail regarding the trip to Dallas and the typical checking into the hotel I'll just say that for the most part today is what you might expect from the first day of a conference. I really enjoyed the sessions I attended today. All three of the sessions I chose were led by Scott Davis and all things revolved around Groovy.

The Blue Pill

The first session was Groovy, the Blue Pill, and yes that is a reference to The Matrix and the next session carried the reference further. The Blue Pill was basically a crash course in Groovy. What it is. How can it be used. What are some basic features that make it so groovy and not just Java without the semicolons (which is optional). It was a good track for me as I'm still fairly new to Groovy. Sure I didn't really get a lot of "new" out of this one since I've been reading a lot of intro to Groovy stuff lately, but it was refreshing.

The Red Pill

The Red Pill was just a continuation of the Blue pill. After the intro course he was now able to present more nitty gritty Groovy functionality. It covered closures, metaprogramming, and much more. A very good session for me as this is where I'm standing on the Groovy landscape.

Grails for the Struts Developer

This was a very interesting session to me. He began and spent a large part of the course talking about Struts. It's origins and it's benefits. Much praise was discussed for what Struts had implemented in it's day. But then came the current state of development on the Java platform and some negative topics regarding Struts were breached. Then he introduced Grails and talked about how you can simply use Groovy over your current Struts apps. Then he rolled up his sleaves and created a Grails app from scratch. With scaffolding doing all the work it was a matter of minutes before he had 3 CRUD apps up an running. Not a lot of new stuff for me, but a good refresher preparing me for my session on Grails tomorrow.


Interestingly enough to me, the keynote speach at the end of the day was almost the best part (not taking anything away from Scott and his Groovy kool-aid). It was an awesome presentation about the state of software development and how long it's been this way and where it will likely end up going (which looks bad from here). He talked a lot about development anti-patterns that are common and I swear the man must be camped out or video taping our department because the first six patterns he discussed were common every week practices for us. I wasn't really shocked, but hearing it all explained so pointedly really made me wonder how much longer I can put up with it (as if I wouldn't run into the same issues elsewhere).


Overall the first day was very enjoyable and full of information. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's sessions.

Until next time

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